The "world’s most famous arena" hosted the world’s worst NBA team Wednesday night against the Clippers and the results were predictable: The New York Knicks lost, 111-80, in what qualified as the Clippers’ most lopsided victory in franchise history at Madison Square Garden. Here are five takeaways from the game:
1. It was the start the Clippers wanted on a sweepable three-game trip. The game was largely devoid of drama other than Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan dunking on unfortunate counterparts and Clippers assistant Mike Woodson addressing the media after Coach Doc Rivers came down with a mysterious (read: fake) illness. The Clippers' starters all scored in double figures before leaving the game late in the third quarter. Next up: seemingly easy games against Philadelphia (18-54) and Boston (31-40), though the Celtics are fighting for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
2. You could say “Danger” was Austin Rivers’ middle name. The reserve guard made his first nine shots on the way to 21 points while playing fearlessly. “In the game I was thinking, have I missed yet? But I just kept shooting, kept getting good looks. I didn’t come down and jack a three. I was coming off pick-and-rolls, just looking for good looks. I think our team as a whole got good looks tonight.” Indeed, Rivers made nine of 10 shots, Jordan made all seven of his tries and the Clippers shot 56.4% from the field.
3. The Knicks are just pitiful. Injuries are only part of the problem for a team missing Carmelo Anthony, Jose Calderon and Tim Hardaway Jr. Even with those three in the fold the team was in major rebuilding mode. Without them, the Knicks are forced to rely on a largely nameless collection of players. Langston Galloway? Jason Smith? Ricky Ledo? Good thing the Knicks still have Andrea Bargnani. Oh, wait …
4. The New York media predictably asked Jordan if he was interested in coming to the Knicks. He didn’t say it, but it’s easy to answer for him: no.
5. Chris Paul is only 10 games away from playing a full regular season for the first time in his career. Doc Rivers has talked about potentially resting players late in the season, but Paul didn’t sound like someone who would be willing to sit out a game given the opportunity to play a full slate of 82 games for the first time in his 10 NBA seasons. What would Paul do if his coach asked him to rest? “We’ll talk about it,” Paul said.